Student Wellness Program

Mental Health

Mental health is critical to sustaining a successful wellness experience. Medical school consists of a diverse group of individuals coming with experiences from different backgrounds. Many individuals can find it difficult to cope with adjusting to a new environment, the rigor of medical school, and/or many other concerns. This can lead to a cycle of stress, anxiety, and depression when combined with inadequate sleep, unhealthy diets, and infrequent exercise. Trying to cope with these symptoms alone, can often times become difficult. The key is to remember there is help available and services designed especially to meet the needs for students. The College of Medicine has a dedicated psychologist to assist you. The provider is available every other Thursday between the hours of 8:30 am – 2:00 pm. To make direct arranges during a different time, or off-campus, Dr. Zaher can be contacted directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (916) 969-0723. In addition, the College of Medicine has a designated wellness committee which aims to ensure the health and wellness of its medical students. A strong effort is also made to ensure curriculum involves teaching practical skills and training during medical school, clerkships, and beyond.

Never be afraid to ask for help – it is the first step towards ensuring good mental health and gaining the resources and guidance you need.

Here are some tips to help you maintain positive mental health:

  • Maintain balance. While medical school may be an important part of your life, ensuring a successful journey is directly associated with your own health and well-being.
  • Support systems. Reach out to your friends and family as often as possible – they will provide you with a strong moral support system for your medical school journey.
  • Make time for yourself. It is okay to take a break, relax, and do something outside of your studies. In fact, it is healthy for you. Good physical and mental health contributes to a more successful medical school journey.
  • Make friends outside of your medical school. While it is important to establish good relationships with your classmates, it is also important to keep friendships outside of your world of medicine to help you relax and shift your perspective.
  • Ask for help. Never be afraid to ask for help. You are not alone on your journey through medical school and are certainly not the only one who may be experiencing mental health concerns.
  • Take an active role in your learning experience. Seek experiences outside of your medical school curriculum for personal enrichment. If you’re interested in a specific career path, seek a research/volunteer opportunity to engage your passion and supplement your educational experience.


Suicide Prevention

In 2013, suicide was the tenth leading cause of death in the United States, and continues to be a major public health concern. Understanding the warning signs for suicide, and how to get help, can help prevent these deaths and save lives. Because suicidal behavior is complex, there are a variety of risk factors that should not be ignored. Suicidal thoughts and actions are a sign of extreme distress and it is critical that an at-risk individual be provided the appropriate treatment from a licensed mental health professional.

The Crisis Text Line: 741741

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

  24 hours a day, 7 days a week – all calls are confidential

5 Action Steps for Helping Someone

  1. Ask. Although it’s not always an easy question to ask, it is the first step in knowing and helping: “Are you thinking about killing yourself?”
  2. Keep them safe. Removing access to lethal items and places can help make a difference, especially if the at-risk individual has shared a suicide plan.
  3. Be there. Be an active listener by paying attention to what the individual is thinking and feeling.
  4. Help them connect. Link the at-risk individual with a trusted individual who can help them (family member, spiritual advisor, mental health professional, The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline)
  5. Stay connected. Studies have shown that staying in touch after a crisis, or following up with the at-risk individual, helps reduce the number of suicide deaths.

To read more about the signs and symptoms of suicide, please visit the National Institute of Mental Health’s webpage, at:


Kaiser Permanente (Kaiser Student Health Insurance Members)

Materials & Tip Sheets

Local Health Education Centers

Local Health Education Classes


Mental Health and/or Substance Abuse Contacts

Kaiser Permanente

(Kaiser Student Health Insurance Members)

-          Sacramento

-          Elk Grove

-          Folsom







Primary Local Assessment and Treatment Facilities

Bi-Valley Medical Clinics

-          Capitol Clinic

-          Carmichael Clinic

-          Norwood Clinic





Midtown Mental Health Center


Addiction Treatment Program


Mental Health Center

(Kaiser patients)



Mental Health center

(Kaiser patients, after hours emergencies)


California Northstate University College of Medicine ♦ 9700 West Taron Drive ♦ Elk Grove, CA 95757 ♦ Phone: (916) 686-7300